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Current Status of the Do-Not-Call Registry:
The FTC operates and enforces the Do-Not-Call Registry. The agency began accepting complaints from consumers at 6 PM on Saturday, October 11, 2003.
Telemarketers challenged the Do-Not-Call Registry, arguing that the list was an unconstitutional burden on business' right to free speech. However, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has held that the Do-Not-Call Registry is constitutional, and the Supreme Court let the 10th Circuit's decision stand.
The FTC originally adopted a five-year re-registration mechanism; this was done to ensure that the Registry was as accurate as possible, while not placing too great a burden on consumers to re-register their telephone numbers. However, for five years the FTC has successfully used a scrubbing program to purge the Registry of disconnected and reassigned numbers each month. The increased use of cell phones and the popularity of telephone number portability also make the re-registration procedure less necessary than it may have been five years ago. It is not necessary to register cell phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry to be protected from most telemarketing calls to cell phones.
On October 23, 2007, in testimony (pdf) before the US House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection, the Federal Trade Commission committed “that it will not drop any telephone numbers from the Do Not Call Registry based on the five-year expiration period pending final Congressional or agency action on whether to make registration permanent.”
Tips for Handling Telemarketers:
- The Federal Trade Commission is collecting complaints regarding telemarketing violations. Complaints can be filed at www.donotcall.gov or by calling 1-888-382-1222. More information at: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/edcams/donotcall/index.html.
- The Federal Communications Commission is also collecting complaints regarding telemarketing violations. Complaints can be filed by e-mail, telephone (888-CALL-FCC) or mail. More information at: http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/donotcall/.
- The Direct Marketing Association is collecting complaints for the industry by e-mail, by telephone (800-969-6566) or on its web site.
October 23, 2007
- In testimony (pdf) before the US House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection, the Federal Trade Commission commits “that it will not drop any telephone numbers from the Do Not Call Registry based on the five-year expiration period pending final Congressional or agency action on whether to make registration permanent.”
October 4, 2004
- The Supreme Court refuses to hear (pdf) an appeal of the Tenth Circuit opinion that held that the Do-Not-Call Registry is constitutional.
May 14, 2004
- Telemarketers appeal the Tenth Circuit decision to the Supreme Court. The Court will decide whether to hear the case in October 2004. The case is docketed as Mainstream Marketing Services, Inc., et al., Federal Trade Commission, et al., No. 03-1552.
February 17, 2004
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit upholds (pdf) the Federal Trade Commission Do-Not-Call Registry against a legal challenge brought by telemarketers. The decision allows the continued operation of the list, allows the government to levy fees on telemarketers for its operation, and recognizes that the FTC has the authority to create and operate the list.
December 19, 2003
- The FCC issues its first Do-Not-Call citation (pdf) to California Pacific Mortgage of Irvine, CA.
November 10, 2003
- The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals hears oral arguments in FTC v. Mainstream Marketing Service, the case in which the FTC is appealing a district court ruling that found the Do-Not-Call list unconstitutional.
November 3, 2003
- The FCC proposes to fine AT&T $780,000 for apparent violations of the company-specific Do-Not-Call list.
October 24, 2003
- The FTC reports that consumers registered with the National Do-Not-Call Registry have filed more than 37,000 complaints against telemarketers who continue to call them. 53.7 million numbers are now registered on the Do-Not-Call list.
October 17, 2003
- The FTC and FCC file a consolidated opening brief (pdf) with the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in their appeals case.
- States file amicus curiae brief on behalf of the FTC.
October 11, 2003
- Consumers can begin filing Do-Not-Call complaints at www.donotcall.gov .
October 9, 2003
- Consumers who had not previously done so can register for inclusion in the FTC's Do-Not-Call registry at www.donotcall.gov .
October 8, 2003
- The FCC issues an updated advisory on the Do-Not-Call registry.
October 7, 2003
- The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals issues a stay of the U.S. District Court of Colorado's decision, allowing FTC to proceed with registry while the appeal is pending. Oral argument for appeal set for November 10th in Tulsa. The 10th Circuit also consolidated the three cases before the court regarding the Do-Not-Call Registry, and set an advanced hearing date of November 10, 2003 in Tulsa Oklahoma.
October 3, 2003
- FCC issues statement on telemarketing complaints.
- FCC Chairman Powell sends a second letter to the Direct Marketing Association.
October 2, 2003
- The FCC announces the formation of a "Do-Not-Call Enforcement Team."
- FCC issues statement on telemarketing complaints.
- Do-Not-Call compliance at 90 percent according to DMA.
October 1, 2003
September 30, 2003
- The FCC, FTC suspend registrations to its Do-Not-Call Registry.
— FCC Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau Chief K. Dane Snowden's statement
- FCC Chairman Powell sends a letter (pdf) to the Direct Marketing Association regarding Do-Not-Call Registry.
- The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation holds a hearing on the Do-Not-Call Registry.
— FTC Chairman Muris' statement
— FCC Chairman Powell's testimony (pdf)
- The FCC issues a consumer guide (pdf) on telemarketing.
- The FTC files a motion (pdf) with the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.
September 29, 2003
- The FTC files an appeal (pdf) with the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.
- President Bush signs legislation that ratifies the FTC's authority to implement a Do-Not-Call Registry.
- FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell issues a statement (pdf) declaring that the commission will enforce its Do-Not-Call rules beginning October 1st.
- The U.S. District Court Colorado denies (pdf) the FTC's motion for a stay of its decision (pdf) invalidating the Do-Not-Call registry and further decrees that the Do-Not-Call rules cannot be implemented "indirectly" through the FCC.
- The Direct Marketing Association urges its members to abide by the Do-Not-Call rules, despite the court rulings.
September 26, 2003
- The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals denies (pdf) Mainstream Marketing Services, Inc., TMG Marketing, Inc., and American Teleservices Association's request for a stay of the FCC Do-Not-Call rules pending review of merits
- The FTC files an emergency motion (pdf) to stay the U.S. District Court of Colorado's opinion while an appeal can be heard.
- FCC Chairman Powell issues a statement (pdf) that the agency will vigorously defend the Do-Not-Call list with the FTC.
September 25, 2003
- The U.S. District Court of Oklahoma denies (pdf) the FTC's motion for a stay of its earlier decision invalidating the Do-Not-Call registry.
- Congress passes legislation to ratify the FTC's authority to implement a Do-Not-Call registry.
- Judge Edward W. Nottingham of the U.S. District Court of Colorado rules (pdf) that the Do-Not-Call registry is a violation of the First Amendment.
- FCC Chairman Powell issues a statement (pdf) that joint FCC-FTC enforcement will ensure implementation of the list on October 1, 2003.
September 24, 2003
- The FTC files an emergency motion for stay pending appeal in the U.S. District Court of Oklahoma in response to its earlier decision invalidating the Do-Not-Call registry.
- FCC Chairman Powell issues a statement (pdf) supporting the Do-Not-Call Registry.
September 23, 2003
- Judge Lee R. West of the U.S. District Court of Oklahoma issues an order (pdf) and judgment (pdf) that the FTC does not have the authority to implement the Do-Not-Call Registry.
September 17, 2003
- Do-Not-Call registrations exceed 50 million. The FTC releases an updated chart (pdf) showing state-by-state enrollment statistics.
July 29, 2003
- The FTC issues its final rule (pdf) concerning Do-Not-Call registry access fees.
July 25, 2003
- Mainstream Marketing Services, Inc., TMG Marketing, Inc., and American Teleservices Association file a petition (pdf) requesting a stay of the FCC's Do-Not-Call rules in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.
July 3, 2003
- The Federal Communications Commission issues new rules (pdf) mirroring the FTC's Do-Not-Call rules and adding entities subject to the Do-Not-Call restrictions beyond the reach of the FTC's reach, including banks, insurance companies, and common carriers.
June 27, 2003
- National Do-Not-Call Registry opens for enrollment; registrations exceed 10 million within the first day. The Registry will be enforced starting October 1, 2003.
June 26, 2003
- The Federal Communications Commission announces support (pdf) for the creation of a Do-Not-Call Registry.
- In response, the American Teleservices Association claims that the new rules will "cost the jobs of two million American workers." However, numbers from the most recent U.S. Economic Census show that telemarketing companies only employ about 500,000 people.
March 21, 2003
- Stonebridge Life Insurance Company files suit seeking declatory and injunctive relief against the FTC's Do-Not-Call rules for insurance companies, arguing that the agency lacks jurisdiction to regulate the activities of insurance companies.
March 11, 2003
- Congress passes The Do-Not-Call Implementation Act to allow the FTC to collect fees in order to operate the Do-Not-Call Registry.
January 29, 2003
- The FTC issues new rules (pdf) establishing a nationwide Do-Not-Call Registry.
- Mainstream Marketing Services, Inc., TMG Marketing Inc., and American Teleservices Association file a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado seeking to invalidate the Do-Not-Call Registry.
- U.S. Security files a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma seeking to invalidate the FTC's Do-Not-Call Registry.
December 8, 2002
- EPIC and ten leading advocacy groups file comments with the FCC on the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The groups advocated the creation of a telemarketing "Do-Not-Call" Registry.
September 18, 2002
- The FCC issues a notice (pdf) of proposed rulemaking on the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), a federal law that regulates telemarketing and fax advertising. The notice requests comments on creating a national Do-Not-Call Registry.
June 5-7, 2002
- The FTC holds a workshop on changes to the Telemarketing Sales Rule.
May 24, 2002
- The FTC issues a notice of proposed rule making to impose fees on telemarketers for access to the Do-Not-Call Registry.
April 10, 2002
- EPIC and thirteen consumer organizations file comments in support of the Do-Not-Call Registry and other amendments to the Telemarketing Sales Rule.
January 22, 2002
- The Federal Trade Commission issues a notice of proposed rule making (pdf) to create a Do-Not-Call Registry of consumers who do not wish to be telephoned by commercial marketers.
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Last Updated: October 31, 2007
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